HAPPY BIRTHDAY PISCES
(Feb 19-Mar 20)
Cartographers of Old Europe sometimes drew pictures of strange beasts in the uncharted regions of their maps. These were warnings to travellers that such areas might harbour unknown risks, like dangerous animals. One famous map of the Indian Ocean shows an image of a sea monster lurking, as if waiting to prey on sailors traveling through its territory. If I were going to create a map of the frontier you're now headed for, Pisces, I would fill it with mythic beasts of a more benevolent variety, like magic unicorns, good fairies and wise centaurs.
THIS WEEK’s BIRTHDAYS: Darcy Fraser, Matt McClement, Seth Smith, Daniel Walker, Ardath Whynacht
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(March 21-April 19)
In December 1915, the California city of San Diego was suffering from a draught. City officials hired a professional "moisture accelerator" named Charles Hatfield, who promised to make it rain. Soon Hatfield was shooting explosions of a secret blend of chemicals into the sky from the top of a tower. The results were quick. A deluge began in early January of 1916 and persisted for weeks. Thirty inches of rain fell, causing floods that damaged the local infrastructure. The moral of the story, as far as you're concerned, Aries: When you ask for what you want and need, specify exactly how much you want and need. Don't make an open-ended request that could bring you too much of a good thing.
(April 20-May 20)
Actors Beau Bridges and Jeff Bridges are brothers born to parents who were also actors. When they were growing up, they already had aspirations to follow in their mom's and dad's footsteps. From an early age, they summoned a resourceful approach to attracting an audience. Now and then they would start a pretend fight in a store's parking lot. When a big enough crowd had gathered to observe their shenanigans, they would suddenly break off from their faux struggle, grab their guitars from their truck and begin playing music. In the coming weeks, I hope you'll be equally ingenious as you brainstorm about ways to expand your outreach.
(May 21-June 20)
According to Edward Barnard's book New York City Trees, a quarter of the city is shaded by its 5.2 million trees. In other words, one of the most densely populated, frantically active places on the planet has a rich collection of oxygen-generating greenery. There's even a virgin forest at the upper tip of Manhattan, as well as five botanical gardens and the 843-acre Central Park. Let's use all this bounty-amidst-the-bustle as a symbol of what you should strive to foster in the coming weeks: Refreshing lushness and grace interspersed throughout your busy, hustling rhythm.
(Jun 21-Jul 22)
As a poet myself, I regard good poetry as highly useful. It can nudge us free of our habitual thoughts and provoke us to see the world in ways we've never imagined. On the other hand, it's not useful in the same way that food and water and sleep are. Most people don't get sick if they are deprived of poetry. But I want to bring your attention to a poem that is serving a very practical purpose in addition to its inspirational function. Simon Armitage's "In Praise of Air" is on display in an outdoor plaza at Sheffield University. The material it's printed on is designed to literally remove a potent pollutant from the atmosphere. And what does this have to do with you? I suspect that in the coming weeks you will have an extra capacity to generate blessings that are like Armitage's poem: Useful in both practical and inspirational ways.
(Jul 23-Aug 22)
In 1979, psychologist Dorothy Tennov published her book Love and Limerence: The Experience of Being in Love. She defined her newly coined word "limerence" as a state of adoration that may generate intense, euphoric, and obsessive feelings for another person. Of all the signs in the zodiac, you Leos are most likely to be visited by this disposition throughout 2019. And you'll be especially prone to it in the coming weeks. Will that be a good thing or a disruptive thing? It all depends on how determined you are to regard it as a blessing, have fun with it, and enjoy it regardless of whether or not your feelings are reciprocated. I advise you to enjoy the hell out of it!
(August 23-September 22)
Based in Switzerland, Nestle is the largest food company in the world. Yet it pays just $200 per year to the state of Michigan for the right to suck up 400 million gallons of groundwater, which it bottles and sells at a profit. I nominate this vignette to be your cautionary tale in the coming weeks. How? 1. Make damn sure you are being fairly compensated for your offerings. 2. Don't allow huge, impersonal forces to exploit your resources. 3. Be tough and discerning, not lax and naïve, as you negotiate deals.
(September 23-October 22)
Sixteenth-century Italian artist Daniele da Volterra wasn't very famous for his own painting and sculpture. The work for which we remember him today is the alterations he made to Michelangelo's giant fresco "The Last Judgment," which spreads across an entire wall in the Sistine Chapel. After Michelangelo died, the Catholic Church hired da Volterra to "fix" the scandalous aspects of the people depicted in the master's work. He painted clothes and leaves over the originals' genitalia and derrieres. In accordance with astrological omens, I propose that we make da Volterra your anti-role model for the coming weeks. Don't be like him. Don't engage in cover-ups, censorship or camouflage. Instead, specialize in the opposite: Revelations, unmaskings and expositions.
(October 23-November 21)
What is the quality of your access to life's basic necessities? How well do you fulfill your need for good food and drink, effective exercise, deep sleep, thorough relaxation, mental stimulation, soulful intimacy, a sense of meaningfulness, nourishing beauty and rich feelings? I bring these questions to your attention, Scorpio, because the rest of 2019 will be an excellent time for you to fine-tune and expand your relationships with these fundamental blessings. And now is an excellent time to intensify your efforts.
(November 22-December 21)
Michael Jackson's 1982 song "Beat It" climbed to number three on the record-sales charts in Australia. On the other hand, "Weird Al" Yankovic's 1984 parody of Jackson's tune, "Eat It," reached number one on the same charts. Let's use this twist as a metaphor that's a good fit for your life in the coming weeks. According to my analysis of the astrological omens, you may find that a stand-in or substitute or imitation will be more successful than the original. And that will be auspicious!
(December 22-January 19)
The Space Needle in Seattle, Washington is 605 feet high and 138 feet wide: A tall and narrow tower. Near the top is a round restaurant that makes one complete rotation every 47 minutes. Although this part of the structure weighs 125 tonnes, for many years its motion was propelled by a mere 1.5 horsepower motor. I think you will have a comparable power at your disposal in the coming weeks: An ability to cause major movement with a compact output of energy.
(January 20-February 18)
In 1941, the Ford automobile company created a "biological car." Among its components were "bioplastics" composed of soybeans, hemp, flax, wood pulp and cotton. It weighed 1,000 pounds less than a car made of metal. This breakthrough possibility never fully matured, however. It was overshadowed by newly abundant plastics made from petrochemicals. I suspect that you Aquarians are at a phase with a resemblance to the biological car. Your good idea is promising but unripe. I hope you'll spend the coming weeks devoting practical energy to developing it. (PS: There's a difference between you and your personal equivalent of the biological car: Little competition.)